Ah, meal prepping. It sounds so nice in theory. You take a relaxing Sunday afternoon and putz around your kitchen, then have delightful meals at the ready for the rest of the week. Sounds pretty sweet, right? But then the rubber meets the road and it’s 10 pm on a Sunday and you’re thinking, “WHAT AM I DOING?”
So you look for something to make your meal prepping experience a little less stressful. And sure, there are the standard tips. Get good storage containers. Make space in your fridge. And so on and so forth. But realistically, a few pieces of Tupperware aren’t going to make or break your meal prepping habit. Not totally hating it is. So we’ve rounded up our favorite real-life meal prep tips to make this weekly to-do less tedious.
Plan it out. Wow, so original, we know. But seriously, the reason this is the meal prep tip to end all meal prep tips is that meal prepping without a plan is an absolute nightmare. And don’t worry. You don’t need to become some meal planning genius overnight. There are copious amounts of meal prep plans online that you can follow so planning takes you all of one Google search and 60 seconds to pick a plan you like.
Batch it. Look for recipes that use the same ingredients so you can buy — and prep — in bulk. If that rice you made for stir-fry can be thrown into tomorrow’s soup, all the better. Not only does this make meal prepping easier, but it also shortens your time spent in the grocery store. And that’s something we can get excited about.
Know thyself. Meal prep only needs to be as complicated as you want it to be. If you’re the kind of person who’s totally happy eating stew Monday through Friday, you don’t need to be prepping a dozen different dishes. Make your menu varied enough to keep yourself excited about what you’re eating, but don’t go beyond that. If you do, you’ll just be wasting energy — and, let’s be honest, will probably end up throwing in the towel on this whole meal prepping thing.
Hook up your routine. If meal prepping is something you dread, you’re not going to do it. (Or even if you are, ugh.) So make it something pleasant. Set aside some time each weekend and put on your most bingeable Netflix show (watch those fingers while you chop, of course!) or pump up your best playlist. Pour yourself a glass of vino or your beverage of choice, get on your comfy clothes, and get to it. Think of it as a chance for self-care and it becomes less of a chore and more of a choice way to spend your Sunday afternoon.
Take shortcuts when you want. Sure, the whole goal of meal prepping is to set yourself up with nutritious homemade meals on a regular basis. But don’t take the “homemade” part too literally. If you don’t feel like making your own gnocchi (because, seriously, who does?), don’t! Just because you’re meal prepping doesn’t mean you have to skip pre-made.
Try these tips and find what works for you. Meal prepping isn’t one-size-fits-all. Whether you prep all three meals for the rest of the week or you barely set yourself up for breakfast success, you’re still making your week a little easier. You’ve got this!